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As Subsidies Run Out, 5000 German Wind Farms Face Shutdown

Energie Zukunft

At the end of this year, 5000 German wind farms are no longer eligible for any subsidies. They face shutdown and Germany faces the loss of considerable amounts of green electricity.

The future of wind energy was already uncertain, now electricity prices have tanked due to the corona crisis. If the government does not intervene, Germany’s entire Energiewende project will stall.

Around 5,000 wind turbines with a total output of 3.7 gigawatts (GW) will fall out of the 20-year EEG subsidy regime at the end of the year. Now the operators have another problem: Due to the corona pandemic, prices on the electricity market have dropped drastically, which means that the vast majority of older wind farms lack the prospect of economic viability. They face shutdown and the German electricity mix is ‚Äč‚Äčthreatened with the loss of considerable amounts of green electricity.

The amounts of electricity from the old wind turbines could be sold on the stock exchange or directly to energy suppliers. However, due to the corona crisis and the falling wholesale price for natural gas there has been a significant drop in prices on the electricity market in recent months. Last July, a megawatt hour of electricity cost over 53 euros, on March 23 it was just under 34 euros. The costs for the continued operation of the systems can hardly be recorded even at the cheapest locations, there are massive shutdowns.

Full story (in German)